Step #1: Choose a Style
Here are some ideas of different styles you can use to decorate your whole house or just one room.
* Cottage: This home furnishing style calls to mind a cozy cottage tucked away in the country or by the lake. Cottage style means white couches and chairs, or white wicker furniture with floral printed cushions. Pastel colors, soft lighting, and gauzy curtains create the cottage look, as do antique accessories and patchwork quilts. Complete the look with landscaping: nothing says country cottage like a stone walkway and a garden full of flowers and herbs.
* Mediterranean: This home decorative style conjures the Italian and French seaside. Think warm yellows and earth tones, as well as simple patterns set off by blue and gold accents. Chunky, natural wood tables fit right in, as do patterns of sunflowers or ships.
* Oriental: As the name implies, this style invokes the simple and sleek lines of the Orient. Less is more with this look, so choose pieces like teak and lacquered tables, armoires and coffee tables sparingly. Accessorize with Oriental rugs, silk prints and pictures of dragons or Japanese seascapes.
* Traditional: This classic home furnishing style is elegant but not extravagant. Floral patterns look great on your couches, chairs, curtains and pillows for the traditional look, as do plaids and damasks. Heavy drapes and mahogany dining room tables also work well with this look. Put the final touch on your traditional home with accents like china, crystal and framed landscapes.
* Victorian: This style will make your house look as beautiful and stately as the mansions of Victorian England. Choose small but elegant couches and wooden armchairs with silk covered cushions in striped or simple floral patterns. Do not be shy with velvet and rich brocades. Porcelain and dried flowers will also help you get this look across nicely.
Step #2: Enhance Your Home
Whatever style you choose, use these elements wisely to achieve the maximum from your decorative style.
* Lighting: Stay away from halogen and overhead lighting, both of which can create harsh light and therefore harsh shadows. Instead, choose lamps with bases that fit your style and taste. Track lighting and sconces also provide nice lighting solutions.
* Color: Color is one of the most basic and most effective ways to create any style. When choosing paint, think about practicality as well as décor; bright colors energize and light colors soothe. Creams, beiges and pastels create the illusion of more space, whereas dark, rich reds and blues make a statement.
* Texture: Texture is an often overlooked element, yet it is crucial when creating the style of your choice. Textured walls evoke a natural, native, earthy feel. Smooth walls are more elegant, traditional, and will reflect more light, creating a brighter room. Be careful, though, because if a floor is textured with tiles, stone, or wood flooring, it can make the room look small. With a large enough room, however, texturing your floor with tile, wood or stone is an excellent way to instantly create a "look".